NY Dog Bite Law Tougher on Owners

NY Dog Bite Law Tougher on Owners

The New York state legislature just passed a bill that would significantly increase the civil penalties imposed on owners of dogs that bite.  This dog bite law not only increases civil liability for dog bite injuries, it also provides helps injury victims receive compensation for their losses and suffering.

New York Senator, Ruben Diaz, Sr., stated he believes his state’s laws have been grossly inadequate in protecting citizens from dog attacks.  “Our State laws have unfortunately been more concerned with dog attacks on livestock than on children.  This new law will change this disparity by increasing the penalty for dog attacks.

New York Governor, George Pataki, also believes that this dog bite law will crack down on irresponsible and negligent dog owners.  This new law increases the maximum penalty for serious dog bite injuries from $800 to $1500.  Owners who knew their dog was dangerous before the serious dog bite injury can now be fined up to $3,000.  The new dog bite law provides incentive for victim restitution.  When the dog owner provides compensation for the victim’s medical expenses, loss of wages, and related damages, the law allows for a reduction in penalties and fines.

Dog bite laws have begun to crack down on liable owners all over the nation in hopes of reducing the incidence of dog attacks and increasing responsible ownership.  More than five million people are bitten by dogs every year in the United States, many of which are children.  From these dog bites, 800,000 people will require medical attention for their injuries, over than 100,000 will require hospitalization, and hundreds will die.

There are over 660,000 licensed dogs in New York State alone. With such a large canine population, officials in New York want to protect people as much as possible from dog attacks.   This state and many others already have a number of laws which hold a dog owner accountable for their canine’s behavior.  Virtually every jurisdiction has restraint and confinement laws to protect people from potentially dangerous dogs.  New dog bite laws, like the one in New York, are intended to buttress and enhance previously established laws.

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